Lombardi gets big present

Soroco senior to sing national anthem at Rockies game

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— What started as a joke has turned into a birthday present for Soroco senior Toni Lombardi.

Her parents, Lori and Pie Lombardi, were talking about what they should get their daughter for her 18th birthday.

"My dad was like, 'She should go sing the national anthem at a Rockies game,'" Toni said.

Well, that is exactly what Toni got for her birthday.

She is singing the national anthem before Sunday's Major League Baseball game between the Colorado Rockies and the Atlanta Braves.

"I will be alone behind home plate," Toni said.

The game starts at 1 p.m. She was told to be at Coors Field at noon.

Toni made an audition tape last winter, but the senior didn't know the tape was for Rockies officials.

"My music teacher (Kelli Turnipseed) recorded me," Toni said. "I thought it was a tape for in case someone wasn't here to sing."

Toni said Sunday will be her largest audience. Typically, she sings the national anthem before Soroco sporting events or during South Routt functions. Toni is a multi-sport athlete for the Rams, so she is a sports fan.

"I like the Rockies," she said. "I went to a few games, and I've gone to Arizona for spring training."

The Rockies gave Toni a group rate for tickets along the first base line.

"Everyone's going - my parents, my dad has family in Denver, and a bunch of my friends from here are going," Toni said.

Toni has sung the national anthem so many times she doesn't really get nervous anymore. If she gets jittery and short of breath, she said she takes a deep breath and is fine.

"But I'm sure I'll be a little jittery Sunday," Toni said.

- To reach Melinda Mawdsley, call 871-4208 or e-mail mmawdsley@steamboatpilot.com

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